Takeover offer for Riviera is withdrawn

From the Associated Press

Bidders seeking to take over casino operator Riviera Holdings Corp. have withdrawn their offer after they were unable to persuade shareholders to sell for $21 a share, real estate developer Ian Bruce Eichner said Wednesday.

Eichner and a member of New York-based D.E. Shaw Group last month offered to take the company private for $262.5 million, but the share price promptly shot above $21 on speculation that a higher bid would emerge.

"There were several shareholders that I spoke to that were unwilling to support the bid," Eichner said.

"Shaw and I didn't feel that it was sensible to pursue it today."

Eichner's comments came after Riviera announced Wednesday that a 30-day exclusive negotiating period, in which the group could talk to other shareholders directly and seek regulatory approval, had expired without a deal being reached.

Shares of Riviera fell 62 cents Wednesday to $22.69.

Riviera owns the Riviera Hotel & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip and the Black Hawk Casino in Black Hawk, Colo.

Eichner is developing a $2.4-billion casino resort, the Cosmopolitan, on the Las Vegas Strip south of the Bellagio hotel-casino. He said he was still interested in acquiring Riviera.

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